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Clinopodium cf. brownei

°C
°dKH
Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Background, Midground
Difficulty: medium
Growth: fast

Availability [?]: 
  • occasionally available commercially

Misapplied names: 
  • Lindernia anagallis

Habit, plant type:

  • stem
Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Clinopodium

Description: 

This still rather unknown stem plant was brought into trade under the erroneous name "Lindernia anagallis" probably in Japan, and from there it also spread to hobbyists in the USA. In Europe, it has been recently sold rather often as aquarium plant, however, mostly without any name. The plant may have some characteristics in common with Lindernia anagallis, which is widely spread in the Asian tropics and subtropics, however, it belongs to the Lamiaceae family, and probably to the species Clinopodium brownei, also known as Micromeria brownei. This plant is found as terrestrial and as bog plant in moist to wet locations in the US states on the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in vast parts of Central and South America.
As the species of the cultivated plant is not yet cleared up, we put a "cf." before the species name.

Clinopodium cf. brownei effuses a strong peppermint smell when bruised. Its stems are tetragonal, the alternate leaves have a stalk and are widely oval, their margin notched. All in all, the plant looks a bit like moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia), however, the latter has an entire margin, not a notched one, and it does not smell of mint.
Its emersed form has a creeping to ascending growth habit, the submersed form grows upright and has a rather small number of lateral shoots. Stems and leaves are green.

C. cf. brownei is not a very demanding plant regarding water quality in the aquarium. Hans-Georg Kramer (2010) had good success in cultivating it in water with a very low (>1 °dH) as well as in water with a moderate carbonate hardness (ca. 9 °dH), however, growth was healthiest under moderate light. He also found that the plant needs a relatively high level of macronutrients; a nutrient deficiency shows in stunted growth of the leaves.
Under favourable conditions, this plant has a growth rate of around 3 cm per week. Before the stems reach a length of around 40 to 45 cm, the shoot tips should be cut off and re-planted, as the main shoot will stop growing any longer and also won't ramify very well (Kramer 2010).

When cultivated emersed on wet substrate, the plant will grow lushly, and under sufficient light it will even form small whiteish to pale purple flowers in the leaf axils near the shoot tip. During the warm months, it can be planted outdoors, too, where it will form creeping to overhanging stems e.g. in mobile containers.

Light medium to high 
Temperature tolerance 10 to 30 °C
Optimum temperature 20 to 28 °C
Carbonate hardness 0 to 14 °dKH
pH value 5 to 7.5 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 10 to 40 mg/l
Nitrate (NO3-) 10 to 50 mg/l
Phosphate (PO43-) 0.1 to 3 mg/l
Potassium (K+) 5 to 30 mg/l
Iron (Fe) 0.01 to 0.5 mg/l

Growth: fast

Propagation: Cuttings

Can grow emersed?: yes

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: unknown

Winter hardiness: unknown

There is no detailled information for cultivating this plant yet.
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